After waiting for two months, a group of Chinese tourists have not been issued visitor visas by New Zealand for a week-long tour in the country which is due to start on January 2. This has therefore led to questions being asked of Immigration New Zealand’s ability to handle the very much anticipated increase in volume of visa applications NZ-China 2019 Tourism.
In respect to the volume of applications, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) admitted it is struggling to cope with such volume. There is the need for more staff according to Simon Cheung, chairman of NZ Chinese Travel and Tourism Association.
Visa Applications Volume
Approximately 45,000 temporary visas are being processed by INZ at the moment. It includes 19,000 onshore applications and 26,000 offshore applications.
Mr Cheung said delays in visa applications lead to unpalatable experiences even before the start of the holiday resulting in a bad reputation for New Zealand.
He revealed that increase ranging between 10 to 20 percent is expected in the volume of Chinese tourists against 2019 and efforts are being made in alliance with both INZ and Customs to ensure seamless arrival and entry of these tourists.
He explained that about a hundred thousand Chinese visitors enter the country per year with their applications usually made in groups. Delay in just one of the visas can cause a delay for every other applicants.
INZ will be helped to get information on entry requirements for visitors as well as advising applicants to lodge applications early online to interested tourists according to Cheung nevertheless he acknowledged that INZ will need more manpower to deal with these visas once received.
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